Over the course of 10 days, the Angkor Thanksgiving event at the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap drew almost 80,000 attendees, breathing life into Cambodia’s tourism, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

The APSARA National Authority (ANA) exhibition hall, a focal point of the festivities, welcomed the presence of nearly 10,000 national and international visitors. Meanwhile, the ANA reported that the nightly performances featuring Khmer musical theatre Yike, grand shadow puppetry, and Lkhon Khol (Khmer masked theatre) Reamker near Angkor Wat temple garnered an audience of nearly 1,500 guests.

“At the heart of this festive celebration, beyond the solemn religious ceremonies, lies a beautiful expression of gratitude. It honours the enduring efforts of every generation of Cambodian kings and ancestors. Their dedication has tirelessly shaped and safeguarded the ancient temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park, offering countless benefits to our motherland from the very start to the present day,” the ministry said.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), expressed gratitude to the ANA and the culture ministry for coordinating this excellent programme.

“This event is significant as it pays tribute to our ancestors who built Angkor Wat. Without this temple, attracting visitors would be far more challenging,” he said.

“We appreciate the Cambodian government’s continuous focus on tourism promotion. While this festival draws mainly local tourists, it also contributes to cultural dissemination and generates additional income for people in Siem Reap province as a whole,” he said.

Vandy also suggested that hosting similar events in various locations could attract both local and foreign visitors, providing them with unique experiences.

He noted that when people travel, they tend to spend money on accommodation, food and other items, contributing to income generation for local people and the state.